Common Water Heater Installation Glitches You Should Avoid

Installing a water heater isn’t necessarily all that difficult. It requires a certain understanding of how your water and heating systems work, and the organizational skill necessary to properly do everything in the proper order. However, there are common missteps that should be avoided always. You may not be the best electrician or the best plumber in Marietta, so here are a few things to look out for.

Keep the Power Off

Since safety is your number one concern, you need to know for sure that your power is off while you’re installing your water heater. That means you want your power source to be either within sight always, or lockable. If the breaker panel is within sight, you’re in good shape. If not, you’ll need either a disconnect switch or a pull-disconnect box near the unit.

Make Sure Your Water Heater Remains Accessible

When you’re done with the installation process, you need to guarantee that you can get back into your water heater to do checkups or make repairs whenever necessary. Water heaters last for approximately ten years, so just because you’ve installed it correctly doesn’t mean you won’t need to get back in there for little fixes from time to time. To guarantee easy access, you’ll need a platform of at least 30 square inches in front of the unit. If it’s in the attic, you’ll want to reach it via a solid floor with a width of 24 inches or more.

Beware of Gas Enclosures

If your water heater is to be located within a dedicated enclosure, make sure there are adequate weather stripping and a self-closing door with an exterior source providing combustion air. Most gas water heaters, however, will not be self-enclosed, in which case you’ll need enough clearance for safety. All flammables must be kept clear, and the heater must be a minimum of 6 inches from a single wall metal vent and no less than one inch from any type B double-wall.

Installing TPR Valve and Drainpipe

It’s standard for water heaters to come with a TPR valve. However, they will usually lack the drain pipe required to prevent you from being scalded by the hot water release. Be sure to set the discharge pipe so that it guides the hot water away from anyone who’s activating the TPR valve. Be sure the piping is rated for hot water, which means PVC piping is unacceptable.

Avoiding Dry Fire

You’ll need to check if the unit is producing hot water, but you must make sure the unit is full before restoring the electricity. If you power up to soon, you can burn out the upper heating element in an incident known as dry fire. The easiest way to prevent this calamity is to run a hot water faucet within the home for at least 3 minutes before powering the heater back on.

Checking the Power

It’s good to have either a circuit tester and a multimeter to check your electrical power. Check your manual to see which wires the supply wires are, then reconnect the breaker to check for voltage. Generally, you can expect your water heater to require 220 to 240 volts. If you’re unable to attain this, it may be due to your home’s wiring.

If you have any complications, you might want to check with local experts in electrical or plumbing in Marietta, GA. It may not be complicated, but with work this delicate and potentially hazardous, you don’t want to take any chances. Contact the plumbing experts at Plumb Doctor™ LLC to help you get your water heater installed correctly today